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LETTERS: Solar power, dormitory civility, charter schools

LIPA's solar takes burden off plants

I would like to set the record straight as it relates to the merits of the Long Island Power Authority's solar energy incentives ["LIPA's new solar plan draws criticism," News, Sept. 24]. We all need to remember that LIPA's main obligation is to deliver electricity at the most effective cost. How do solar system rebates meet this obligation?

Every kilowatt hour of energy produced by solar is a kilowatt hour that doesn't have to come from LIPA's aging and "maxed out" power plants. Solar makes its biggest contribution when the grid is at its weakest. When plants are operating at or slightly above designed capacity, solar helps LIPA avoid needing more power than is available.

As for LIPA's rebate program, the rebates are lower, the system installation costs are lower and within reach of many more ratepayers than in years past, and demand for solar installations is way up.

R. Sail Van Nostrand


Editor's note: The writer is chairman of the Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association.

Standards of civility

The suicide death of the Rutgers student was, indeed, a terrible tragedy. However, while one letter bemoaned the generation of children that would behave without civility, compassion and empathy in making such a video and then posting it online ["Second tragedy of young man's death," Letters, Oct. 3], what about the generation of children that would have sex in a dorm room that they are sharing with someone else?

It may be done "all the time,'' but that doesn't make it right.

Sandra Plate


Charter schools are an unproven fix

It's amazing that the federal government is putting so much stock into charter schools, dedicating billions of dollars to states that, among other things, increase the number of charter schools. The success of charter schools has been vastly uneven and in some places a complete failure.

Private and Catholic schools have a proven track record. Some students in these schools have limited proficiency in English, qualify for reduced or free lunch, and have special needs. The students learn, graduate and are sent off to the real world to become responsible, productive citizens who for the most part are values-driven.

Government officials and educational researchers have studied this very successful model of education and continue to exclude these institutions from the conversation and the funding.

The reality is, they should be part of this conversation in trying to improve education in America in place of "Waiting for Superman."

Patrick McLaughlin